Jump to content

How significantly do you think race affects acceptances?


Recommended Posts

I do not want a political discussion here.

Have you noticed whether or not African American and Hispanic students are more likely to be accepted by PA programs with average or even slightly lower than average stats? These groups don't seem to be well represented in most PA programs. It seems the schools would be more likely to accept a minority student so as to diversify their program.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm. There is a noted underrepresentation of Latinos and African American in PA school just like in Medical school. However, I do not think admission is extended to these groups for the sake of ethnicity or race per se. That implies that standards are lowered for these students and I do not believe that occurs. What does happen I think is that admission committees want a diverse group of students and that extends to work, academic history, age, etc. but this affects all candidates.

In general what I have noted from other Latino and black friends who have sought admission into med, pharmacy, law school is the opposite. Only those who surpass averages gain acceptance into programs in which we are grossly underrepresented. 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, LPZ said:

In general what I have noted from other Latino and black friends who have sought admission into med, pharmacy, law school is the opposite. Only those who surpass averages gain acceptance into programs in which we are grossly underrepresented. 

Really? In your experience, those with average scores weren't being accepted? I wonder why that would be. It's hard to believe the standards would be held higher for minorities...

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On July 27, 2017 at 8:19 PM, love23cali said:

Really? In your experience, those with average scores weren't being accepted? I wonder why that would be. It's hard to believe the standards would be held higher for minorities...

 

 

I do not think the standards are higher for minorities per se, rather the minority applicants I know feel they have to work harder against the perceived bias that some in society have against them i.e. thinking they are not as intelligent, hardworking, or admission is based on race/ethnicity instead of merit, etc and this translates to above average stats in the form of GPA, years or quality of work experience, etc. So when they apply to graduate/professional school and are judged with all other applicants, those accepted are usually top students. 

However, my perspective is based on friendships cultivated in undergrad at a reputable university, so my experience is more than likely skewed. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The applicant pool may also just be flooded with more Caucasian applicants than other types of educational programs, which likely contributes to a perceived underrepresentation of minorities in programs. Also consider that the pool is already noticeably over-saturated with female applicants, so that shapes the profiles for each class as well being usually somewhere between 70-90% female on average. I even heard from one school that their program was told at a conference that they were considered very diverse just because they had more male students than most. There were minorities represented at every interview I attended and they were equally competitive with everyone else IMO. I'd be surprised if any preferential treatment would have been given to any applicant just solely based on race (and would be so very disappointed if programs turned students away due to race). Diversity is valued, but there is so much else that is used to evaluate an applicant's fit for a program that is internal and bears much more weight than a program being able to say they have a student of X race and a few of Y race in their class. 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

https://www.aamc.org/data/facts/applicantmatriculant/157998/factstablea24.html

This is a link to stats on medical school admissions. Look through them some...among students with similar gpa and MCAT scores, admissions rates are dramatically higher for African-American and Hispanic applicants compared to white and Asian applicants. I'd be interested to see if that also holds true for PA school applicants. 

Stats like these bear out the fact that a lack of diversity isn't to be blamed on admissions...there's a lot that happens before that to keep everyone from being on the same playing field. 

 

  • Downvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/27/2017 at 10:37 AM, love23cali said:

I do not want a political discussion here.

 

 

On 7/27/2017 at 10:19 PM, love23cali said:

Really? In your experience, those with average scores weren't being accepted? I wonder why that would be. It's hard to believe the standards would be held higher for minorities...

 

 

lol.

  • Downvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think there is very, very little information available to explore affirmative action at work in PA school admissions in comparison to other professional schools like medical school and pharmacy school.

First, our admission pool nationally is much smaller than the national admission pools for medical school, etc. It's large enough to draw a sample from, yes, but as one poster already noted, the admission pool is already disproportionally female. Second, our average accepted stats are lower which makes it extremely difficult to draw any sweeping generalizations about what GPA a school wants, what GRE score the school wants, and to some extent how many hours of HCE a school wants from a student. If everyone applying had a 3.7 or better (as is generally the case for MD schools), it is of course easy to feel slighted when an African American student may get in with a 3.6. But in our admissions - where 3.0-3.3 isn't abnormal - you have students applying with all sorts of combinations (high GPA, high GRE, low HCE - low GPA, high GRE, med HCE - low GPA, low GRE, high HCE). Third, our accepted class sizes are much smaller on average (I've heard it's around 45-50?). That new PA program at Penn St. only has 30 seats available. That necessarily means that the adcoms have to have some sort of idea in mind about what sort of class they'd like to interview. 

It's the second point that particularly muddies the issue in my mind. It's simply too hard to say "he or she got in with lower stats" when you undoubtedly have an entire admitted class that runs the gamut in terms of GPA, GRE scores, and HCE hours. If you've spent any time on SDN, they have an entire score system set up for schools because MD/DO admissions are very, very predictable. That same system cannot be replicated for PA programs (in my opinion). The further you get from a 4.0 average in your admitted class, the more variability and variance you open your admitted class to. I don't think we can quite say "a 3.2 Latino with a 300 on the GRE" who received an offer from a PA program is quite on the same level as "a 3.5 Latino with a 499 on the MCAT" who received an offer from an MD program. 

TL;DR: I don't think race plays a significant factor in PA school admissions. 

 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

hmm. Touchy topic. I think in an ideal world each individual would be analyzed holistically based on his/her own merits regardless of race/gender/sexual pref etc...However, I think practically (whether it's conscious or not) race plays a role just as gender does. Is it statistically significant across applicant pools? I don't know. But I think it's a tad naive and foolishly optimistic to believe that these things don't play in to some admissions decisions. Would be interesting to study though. Especially with the news that the Justice Dept will be investigating affirmative action programs to evaluate whether they went too far and ended up discriminating against other groups. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, boli said:

hmm. Touchy topic. I think in an ideal world each individual would be analyzed holistically based on his/her own merits regardless of race/gender/sexual pref etc...However, I think practically (whether it's conscious or not) race plays a role just as gender does. Is it statistically significant across applicant pools? I don't know. But I think it's a tad naive and foolishly optimistic to believe that these things don't play in to some admissions decisions. Would be interesting to study though. Especially with the news that the Justice Dept will be investigating affirmative action programs to evaluate whether they went too far and ended up discriminating against other groups. 

My point is that I think this is a problem for programs that consistently draw from the top... the most prestigious undergraduate institutions, the top 14 law schools, medical schools, etc. 

Sure, PA school might draw some students from the top, but only in a minute way in comparison to these programs. The 50th percentile on the GRE is considered competitive for our admissions... It comes across as very "I'm mad I didn't get in" if people are going to complain they lost their spot to someone else with "lower" stats when they were already sitting at a 3.1 and a literally statistically average GRE score. 

I think while they are at it, the Justice Department should also take a look at all of the legacies and sons/daughters of donors and public officials. I'm suuuuuure Chris Christie's son was Princeton material... 

 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Zach said:

My point is that I think this is a problem for programs that consistently draw from the top... the most prestigious undergraduate institutions, the top 14 law schools, medical schools, etc. 

Sure, PA school might draw some students from the top, but only in a minute way in comparison to these programs. The 50th percentile on the GRE is considered competitive for our admissions... It comes across as very "I'm mad I didn't get in" if people are going to complain they lost their spot to someone else with "lower" stats when they were already sitting at a 3.1 and a literally statistically average GRE score. 

I think while they are at it, the Justice Department should also take a look at all of the legacies and sons/daughters of donors and public officials. I'm suuuuuure Chris Christie's son was Princeton material... 

 

Yeah no argument here. Like you said, probably not quite as prevalent for PA school. Haha no kidding. Nepotism is real

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My earlier point is that, in my experience, programs "strive" for diversity: in race, gender, age, ethnicity, etc. But it is not their overwhelming objective.

No two applicants are exactly the same and, even if they were, different interviewers would probably still rate them differently. Regardless of minority status, sometimes a 3.2 sGPA gets in ahead of a 4.0 sGPA; I've seen it happen with a really poor interview performance (one that's still seared into my memory!) On the other hand, I sincerely doubt that a minority applicant with a 3.2 sGPA is going in ahead of a 4.0 sGPA just because he or she is a minority applicant. 

This is getting to be a how many angels can dance on the head of a pin discussion... 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with discussions like this is they miss the point of affirmative action programs in general - that it is not about checking a "diversity" box, but its an acknowledgement of the fact that given the additional barriers many underrepresented groups face in terms of access to quality education, support networks, financial support, etc. that a 3.5 GPA from a disadvantaged applicant takes more work, effort, and dedication for that individual to obtain than a more mainstream student with the same GPA but who benefited from going to good schools, having parental support, access to mentor connections and internships, etc. It's not just a racial thing, its also a location thing (rural vs. urban vs. suburb) and an economic thing. Ideally yes, everyone should be considered just by their stats alone, but when opportunity in the U.S. is so skewed along racial and economic lines, those stats alone are not equitable. Wouldn't you think a GRE score from someone who had to figure it out on their own shows more skill and effort than the same score from someone who could afford test prep classes and materials? That said, PA admissions tends to focus on a holistic approach anyway, which takes all this into consideration. I find it hard to see complaining about it as anything helpful; there are a million reasons one student gets in when another doesn't. Crying "no fair!" seems petty.

  • Upvote 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Allegro said:

The problem with discussions like this is they miss the point of affirmative action programs in general - that it is not about checking a "diversity" box, but its an acknowledgement of the fact that given the additional barriers many underrepresented groups face in terms of access to quality education, support networks, financial support, etc. that a 3.5 GPA from a disadvantaged applicant takes more work, effort, and dedication for that individual to obtain than a more mainstream student with the same GPA but who benefited from going to good schools, having parental support, access to mentor connections and internships, etc. It's not just a racial thing, its also a location thing (rural vs. urban vs. suburb) and an economic thing. Ideally yes, everyone should be considered just by their stats alone, but when opportunity in the U.S. is so skewed along racial and economic lines, those stats alone are not equitable. Wouldn't you think a GRE score from someone who had to figure it out on their own shows more skill and effort than the same score from someone who could afford test prep classes and materials? That said, PA admissions tends to focus on a holistic approach anyway, which takes all this into consideration. I find it hard to see complaining about it as anything helpful; there are a million reasons one student gets in when another doesn't. Crying "no fair!" seems petty.

I'm sure you were addressing others but I wasn't complaining about affirmative action at all. I simply asked for observations about the acceptance rates. 

 

Anyways, good points to bring up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, love23cali said:

I'm sure you were addressing others but I wasn't complaining about affirmative action at all. I simply asked for observations about the acceptance rates.

Anyways, good points to bring up.

I was directing that more as a common response to the issue than at anyone in this thread. :)

However, I do think that it shouldn't be something applicants in general concern themselves over as a part of the admissions process when trying to figure out their chances, because ultimately it is just one part, and I'd argue a fair part, of so many pieces of a puzzle ADCOMS use to make final decisions that are out of an applicant's control.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More